While performance reviews are a great way to stay in touch with your employees about their jobs and expectations, they are taking a major turn in today’s world surrounding human resources and workforce management software. We’ll get to that in a minute.

You can develop or find a performance review template to make sure your performance review process is consistent across all employees and make sure that what’s recorded is consistent. Highlight employee strengths and weaknesses, as well as specific performance areas to discuss during the performance review in your template.

You’ll need to monitor output, track performance, and discipline when necessary. In fact, managers and employees need regular performance appraisals to keep in touch. For effective employee reviews, you need the right applications, solutions, and workforce software.

To get the best results from your performance review, there are a few things you should do before you start. Prepare specific categories for the review, such as previous performance, current job role, employee strengths, areas for improvement, problem-solving, future performance, manager-employee relationships, and more.

You can also use a quantitative scale, such as 1 – 5, to rate performance on the following questions. Depending on what kind of performance review template you use, these questions may include follow-up narrative responses.

Change is Here with Innovative Workforce Management Software

It’s crystal clear why the following trend is happening in performance reviews. According to Gartner’s consulting subsidiary CEB Global, 95 percent of managers dislike formal performance appraisals, and 90 percent think they’re inaccurate and that an innovative workforce software solution could help.

Performance reviews are also increasingly unpopular with employees. These appraisals are commonly complained about by employees because they reward high performers, yet they don’t deal with poor performers, they’re rude, and they’re oftentimes too late. Many human resource and other managers are finding that a formal review takes a lot of time and doesn’t motivate employees.

“People hate performance evaluations — they really do,” states a recent Harvard Business Review article. “According to a survey of Fortune 1,000 companies done by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB Global), 66 percent of the employees were strongly dissatisfied with the performance evaluations they received in their organizations. More strikingly, 65% of the employees believed that performance evaluations were not even relevant to their jobs.”

Past performance is only one reference point, the study noted. Compared to previous performance, managers evaluate the temporal trajectory of employees’ achievement, letting them know how much (or how little) progress they’ve made. Those are called “temporal comparison evaluations.”

Rethinking Performance and Workforce Management Software

There are some things employees and bosses can completely agree on, such as the benefits of working from home, or even what to wear at work.

Formal employee performance systems were first developed in the United States over 100 years ago. They were then adopted by influential companies to get rid of poor performers.

Today, almost everyone hates them. Ratings are often time-consuming, backward-looking, or box-ticking exercises that reveal more about the manager doing the rating versus the person being rated.

Recently, some companies quit doing formal annual reviews in conjunction with upgrading their employee management software solution. Some studies by industry associations say 15 percent of organizations suspended performance ratings as COVID-19 cases soared and workforce life changed. This gets companies kudos at first, but the good vibes can eventually die out.

Less frequent communication means workers oftentimes don’t know “why” their bosses promote or don’t them. Many companies doing away with annual reviews over the past couple of years have actually brought them back.

Better Strategies and Templates

Today’s employee leaders and workforce solutions managers say it’s crucial to replace typical performance review strategies with better ones:

  • Have discussions on a regular basis. Managers and workers should talk after a project is completed, or at least have a discussion once every quarter. It’s best to check in every 9 to 12 days. It’s all about that moment. The majority of organizations do frequent check-ins these days, which is up significantly from just a few years ago.
  • Instead of focusing on “what,” focus on “how.” Just 4 percent of human resources leaders do a good job of assessing employee performance. Instead of talking about what people worked on, we should talk about how they work — their skills, behaviors, and competencies.
  • Develop managers’ conversation skills. Researchers have found that almost two-thirds of the variance in employee ratings was caused by individual rater idiosyncrasies. Some workers tend to suffer the most from this arbitrariness. Workforce management solutions software has become a popular tool to remind managers to talk to their staff and support them. A regular check-in should include coaching, comments on recent work, and setting expectations.
  • Check with your coworkers. Coworkers can be a great resource for performance assessments, especially in hybrid offices where managers have less visibility within employee-work patterns. Only a small minority of organizations include employees’ teammates in appraisals. However, beware that there are a few things to watch out for. The workplace can turn into a surveillance state if workers undermine each other. You shouldn’t do this unless your company has an open and honest culture.
  • Give the employee a chance to reflect. Instead of stuffy conference-room chats, some companies have employees reflect on their performance quarterly, and managers can comment. You won’t have to spend as much time writing up traditional evaluations. The historical “rating” model takes millions of valuable U.S. work hours to complete each year, some small business and corporate studies have found.
  • Don’t look back. Feedback is even being revamped. There are some companies that prefer “forward” feedback, which links performance discussions directly to employee development going into the future. Instead of just determining who gets what bonus, you can use performance reviews to identify and cultivate your best people.

It’s All About Trust — and the Right Applications & Tools

Remember: the right applications, tools, and employee management software solution are key. Additionally, these approaches require trust between workers and bosses, which has been depleted at some organizations during the recent pandemic amid rancorous debates over vaccine policies, office return policies, and productivity monitoring.

Nearly two in three U.S. workers are worried that business leaders are purposefully misleading them. For the first time in a decade, employee engagement declined over the past couple of years, a trend that hasn’t reversed course. It’s leading people to quit their jobs — or worse, just go through the motions at work.

It’s all about trust, and whether that trust gets eroded. How can we make people trust us if we want to improve performance? Your employees can feel good about their work and their roles through the convenient and efficient software and tools you put in place. VCS Software can help.

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